The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The porch posts are vertical

Well, all except two of them.

pile of porch postsIn April of last year, dad and I milled the posts for our porch (post 1 & post 2). Since then, they’ve been stacked in the timber frame waiting to be used. Today, it was finally time to begin installing them.

The process was fairly simple, but did take a bit of time. The first task was to square one end of each post and then cut them to length. Squaring an end involves cutting it on four sides with the circular saw and finishing the cut with a handsaw (about 3/4” in the center).

lag screw into bottom of postThe posts are all set over concrete piers and tie into the beams used to frame the porch deck. Being cedar, they aren’t too heavy even though they are full 6x6s. We set them up to vertical and toe nailed them into the deck framing while holding them mostly plumb. Then, I drilled holes to embed two 7” lag screws into the bottom of each post, coming up at an angle through the 6x8 beam upon which each partially sits.

header cut to 5" and butted on top of postAs we set the posts, we also began to put up the 4x6 header on top. These small beams butt to one another on top of the posts. Since the 4x6s vary in height, I’m cutting them to 5 inches to provide a consistent height for the rafters which will sit on the header.

By the end of the day, we had all but two posts set and the header installed across the front and most of the east side. It shouldn’t take too long to set the last two posts and finish the header. I may put up some rafters on the front tomorrow.



curdy said...

Wow, what an awesome porch that is going to be!

Can you repost, or just link to the final layout plans? I was looking back and wasn't sure which were the final plans you went with.

dp said...

I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch in the evenings, enjoying the coolness of the day! :)

Someone else asked about the floor plan. I'll post a layout.

Darla Hemphill said...

It looks beautiful!! I know you supervised the entire project- behind every good project is an even more fabulous helper.

Porch columns